Sunday, October 14, 2018

‘Last of the Mohicans’ -- Oldest White Émigré Monarchist Paper Marks its 70th

Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 14 – The great Russian émigré newspapers of Europe and America have almost all ceased publication, but this fall, Russians in the diaspora and Russians in their own country and the former Soviet space are marking the 70th anniversary of Nasha Strana, “the oldest White émigré newspaper” that has been published in Buenos Aires since 1948.

            That the newspaper itself should celebrate this anniversary is no surprise – see the online version of its current issue at – but more intriguingly, this date has been marked by the publication of an enthusiastic encomium on the CentrAsia portal (

            There, Maksim Ivlyev, who himself has written articles for the South American newspaper, tells part of its story, indicating why Nasha Strana is an important source for the history of Russia over the last seven decades and why in his view its views about state and church remain relevant to this day.

            The paper was founded in September 1948 by Ivan Solonevich, who earlier had edited papers in Bulgaria but is most prominently known as the author of one of the earliest books about Stalin’s GULAG, Russia in a Concentration Camp (Russian-language text available online at

            After Solonevich’s death in 1953, it was edited by a series of people; but since 1967, Ivlyev recounts, it has been led by Nikolay Kazantsev, who has attracted an enormous number of Russian emigres and more recently Russians in Russia who share its monarchist views and its hostility to the Moscow Patriarchate’s cooperation with the state.

            Among the many Russian writers whose work has appeared in this paper, in addition to Solonevich, are Boris Bashilov, Nikolay Pototsky, Mikhail Zyzykin, Boris Shirayev, Grigory Mesyayev, Sergey Voytsekhovsky, Boris Kholston-Smyslovsky, Igor Shmitov, and Yury Slyozkin.

            Many of these individuals in no small measure thanks to their publications in the Latin American newspaper have gained a new audience in post-Soviet Russia and influenced many on the right in that country, making the reading of the paper important not just for those who care about the emigration but also for those who keep track of developments in Russia today.

            Despite its financial difficulties, Ivlyev, who has also published in Nasha strana in recent years says, the paper continues to come out; and “reading the old numbers of the oldest monarchist and White émigré paper of the Russian diaspora is to read through the entire history of the Russian emigration and of Russia as a whole.”

            The Russian writer says he wishes many more years for Nasha strana because the paper “as in the past stands guard at its post for Historical Russia as an irreplaceable sentinel.”

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